Neymar’s former agent Wagner Ribeiro has confirmed that Chelsea once made a serious offer to sign the Brazilian superstar.
The PSG forward has many admirers throughout the game but it was back when he was learning his trade at Santos that the Blues made their approach.
“There were many calls for him,” Ribeiro recalled to AS, via the Daily Mirror. “I received an official offer from Chelsea the day Neymar debuted with the Brazilian team in 2010.
“They made an offer, we studied it, but in the end we didn’t decide anything. On that occasion, we transferred it to Neymar’s father and the player himself.
“Then came other offers from Bayern Munich and Juventus, with whom I had a meeting in Turin.”
At the time of Chelsea’s interest, they had just won the Premier League and were managed by Carlo Ancelotti – providing a decent stage for a young Neymar to strut his stuff.
Santos’ former president, Luis Alvaro de Oliveira Ribeiro, claimed previously that Chelsea’s offer was in the region of £25m.
It has been reported that Neymar and his representatives had agreed terms at a private meeting with Chelsea chiefs, to which super-agent Pini Zahavi was also present, before later reneging on the deal to stay at Santos.
Barcelona eventually beat out all the competition for the player, with Neymar heading to the Nou Camp in 2013 and then making a record-breaking switch to PSG in 2017.
He continues to be linked with a return to Barca, although the current financial issues surrounding football may mean that move is put on hold until next summer at least.
Meanwhile, Chelsea have been criticised over their ongoing pursuit of Barcelona playmaker Philippe Coutinho, and risk losing a star forward if the Brazilian arrives according to one pundit. Read more…